Minimum wage: The PQ expects $18 per hour

On the eve of Labor Day, the Parti Québécois (PQ) promises an increase in the minimum wage to $18 an hour. The measure, aimed at “fighting the impoverishment of workers”, would be implemented gradually.

It would also be accompanied by a reform of the Pay Equity Act. The latter would aim to provide more protection to employees and to combat the gender pay gap.

The leader of the PQ cohort and candidate in the riding of Camille-Laurin, Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon, made the announcement this morning.

“With the current minimum wage at $14.25 an hour, which equates to about $27,000 a year, no one can live in dignity. Even taking into account the expected hourly increase of $0.75, we are far from achieving a decent income, given the meteoric rise in the cost of living in recent months,” the PQ said in a press release.

Protect workers

In order to achieve his objectives of improving the condition of Quebec workers, Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon relies on an amendment to the Pay Equity Act.

The PQ plans, in broad outline, to boost the Commission for Standards of Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST), by providing it with greater resources. This is the organization to which Quebec entrusts the promotion of rights and obligations in the world of work.

The PQ would heavily sanction employers who do not comply with pay equity rules and would also force private sector companies that have not adopted this regulation to do so.

The PQ would also require the creation of a committee to maintain pay equity in all companies.

Overcoming pay inequity

In addition to the amount of the minimum wage, the PQ of Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon pointed to the problems of disparity between men and women in terms of remuneration.

“It is not normal that women still suffer pay inequities compared to their male colleagues, for lack of bite in the Pay Equity Act. However, even today, the average hourly remuneration of women represents 91.9% of that of men, ”argued the PQ.

In this sense, the Parti Québécois would put in place a series of measures to fight against pay inequity: “lump sums will be replaced by salary adjustments with legal interest, and the amounts due to women cannot be spread over time – the retroactive salary adjustment established by virtue of the law must therefore be paid immediately.”

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